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Don't Stop At Manggatal - STAR

Jalibin Paidi, STAR Sabah Information Chief
Kota Kinabalu: "The proposal of DSP Masidi to revert the name of Menggatal to its original Manggatal is appropriate in terms of history and local characteristics of Sabah and ought to be fully supported” said Jalibin Paidi, STAR Sabah Information Chief, who was also an opposing candidate to Masidi in DUN Karanaan in the last elections.

Jalibin also said that Datuk Abidin Madingkir, the Mayor of Kota Kinabalu also ought to be commended for taking the appropriate action to consider Masidi’s proposal.
However, the proposal to use local names to highlight the local characteristics and uniqueness of Sabah should be extended to the whole of Sabah and should not stop at Manggatal name change or restricted to Kota Kinabalu as in the limited jurisdiction of the Mayor of Kota Kinabalu.

"The name of a place is usually born by history or the myth of the local people.   Maybe the name Menggatal is adapted to following the official correct Malay spelling but it carries a less attractive intent.   Using the name Menggatal will also cause it to depart from its original history and local myth and also does not reflect the true identity of the local community living there "said Jalibin.

Consistent with the reversion to its original Manggatal name, the names of local institutions and other places there should be considered to be changed as well.     For example, SMK Bandaraya should be changed to its original name of SMK Manggatal, which has its own history and many illustrious students.

Jalibin also proposed that the road-naming committees in each District should adopt Masidi’s proposal. According to him, all schools, street names or the name of the villages need to be named in accordance with the local community particularly its original names which have local Sabah characteristics.

"I would also wish to propose that the name of SMK Mat Salleh in Ranau should be re-named after local leaders like SMK Ghani Gilong.    If not in Ranau, there is no better place to record the appreciation of Tan Sri Ghani Gilong’s contributions.   For the record, Tan Sri Ghani Gilong who hails from Ranau was amongst the pioneers who pursued Sabah’s independence alongside Tun Mustapha and Tun Fuad.

“Likewise, the names of the villages in Kundasang should revert to their original Dusunic names as the local inhabitants are mainly Dusun.    It is inappropriate and confusing to give unfamiliar names like Lembah Permai or Permai Valley which not reflect the local Dusun inhabitants” added Jalibin.

Masidi’s proposal also received the support of Hasmin Azroy Abdullah, who is Jalibin’s colleague and  STAR Sabah’s Wiramuda Chief.

Azroy also suggested that DSP Masidi as Minister responsible for the tourism portfolio should use his power and position to lead the efforts to re-name places throughout Sabah and not hope to rely on other authorities.   He should chair a Cabinet Committee tasked with such duties.  The task of implementing the name changes can then be assigned to the local authorities.

Many villages appear to be named inappropriately and according to whims and fancies such as Kg. Contoh or Model Village.   This does not reflect the local culture and history or Sabah characteristics.

"The re-naming with local characteristics and unique features of Sabah, our beloved Sabah homeland will have its own uniqueness that Sabahans can be proud of.  It will also contribute to the tourism attractions of Sabah" added Azroy.

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